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Social Services: Finance

Health written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Roger Berry Roger Berry Labour, Kingswood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how he plans to monitor consistency in the allocation of individual budgets among local authorities.

Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Minister of State (Care Services; Minister for the East Midlands), Department of Health

The Government are committed to driving forward increased personalisation of public services, including ensuring that people using social care services should have access to maximum independence, choice and control. Personal budgets, building on the success of direct payments and the experiences of the thirteen individual budget pilot sites, are central to this aim.

Councils will be supported to make substantial progress on transforming their systems to deliver personalised services over the next two years. The ring-fenced social care reform grant provides £520 million to help councils redesign and reshape their systems over the next three years in order to deliver this transformation. Performance across health and social care will be measured against relevant indicators in the national indicator set and any relevant local area agreement (LAA) improvement targets. This information will inform the Care Quality Commission's assessments of primary care trusts and councils across health and adult social care which, in turn, contribute to the comprehensive area assessment.

In addition to the existing performance mechanisms, the Department and its partners are working to improve the adult social care indicators for future spending cycles. This work builds on the lessons learnt from the current national indicator set and the first round of the LAAs. The revised indicators are likely to form part of the evidence base for both future assessments by the inspectorates and the foundation for the next round of LAAs. The Department is now taking initial development work forward in partnership with Association of Directors of Adult Social Services regional networks, joint investment plans and other local sector stakeholders and as part of a wider Government review of the indicator set for the next comprehensive spending review period.

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